Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on Wednesday night honored a Berwick firefighter who died last week in the line of duty.
Fire Capt. Joel Barnes, who graduated from the college in 2010 with a degree in emergency medical services, had recently gone back to the school to become a certified CPR instructor, with hopes of teaching the life-saving technique to others.
Barnes died Friday while fighting a four-alarm fire at an apartment building in Berwick.
Emergency Medical Services program director Eric Wellman, one of Barnes’ former instructors, described him as a quiet, passionate and engaged student whose memory will live on at the school.
“Joel is going to be a story for the rest of this paramedic program, they are going to learn about him, they are going to tell me about him, they are going to talk about what he did, his history, he will forever be immortalized as long as I work here,” Wellman said.
The school’s entire Emergency Medical Services Department plans on attending Barnes’ funeral in Portland on Sunday.